The Baby Bombers were ready for October; their manager was not.

The young, up-and-coming New York Yankees chased maybe the best pitcher in the world -- the Cleveland Indians' Corey Kluber -- before the third inning ended. Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird all homered, while the old guard, CC Sabathia, was turning in an Andy Pettitte-like Game 2 performance. The Yanks were up five runs after five innings and winning this American League Division Series game was starting to become real.

And then, their manager, Mr. Preparation himself, Joe Girardi, ruined it all, looking like the most ill-prepared person in the stadium, losing a game that will be remembered for a long time because of his mistakes.

The Yankees are on the brink of elimination in this ALDS, but Girardi’s players deserved better. The nonchallenge of the Indians’ Lonnie Chisenhall's hit-batter call in the sixth will sting Yankees fans throughout this winter; but what probably was worse was being too tied to his binder and lifting a cruising Sabathia in that dreadful inning for no apparent reason, except, well, that was the pregame plan.

After the 9-8 loss in 13 innings that ran more than five hours, Girardi’s answers didn’t entirely add up.

He said he didn’t challenge the hit batsman because the Yankees ran out of time to see the proper slo-mo replay. This is believable, because their video replay guru, Brett Weber, has led the majors with a 75 percent overturn rate; if he saw it, he would have informed Girardi.

But here is where it falls on Girardi. He claimed that he didn’t want to take his reliever Chad Green out of his rhythm. This does not stand up, because Girardi does that all the time, coming out to talk to umpires, sometimes for extended periods, and challenging calls. With his own catcher, Sanchez, looking over to him and yelling “foul” and Chisenhall’s lack of normal reaction to being hit, Girardi needed to be instinctive.